Going over the census was always one of the hardest ones to explain to Ashton the last couple years. I'm not sure she really understood this time, but she definitely got more of an awareness.
In the instructions they ask we dye some rice and add a couple of marbles (with smiley faces) and put them in a baby food jar.
Well we didn't have marbles and we didn't have any baby food. So we decided to try it a bit differently and I think for the better.
First instead of marbles, we did 2 beads. Since we have to use beads to go over pipe cleaners for another lesson, this is what I had plenty of. I drew smiley faces on them, if you strain your eyes you can see them maybe in the photos. Ashton wanted to draw them of course, but as these were so tiny, I took the liberty. We chose a gold and silver to represent Mary and Joseph.
And instead of a food jar, we bought a clear ornament. It goes on a Christmas tree and looks much prettier than a food jar.
We didn't have any food coloring around, but we did have some dye for icing. It is much thicker than food coloring. We had several colors. Of course, Ashton picked her favorite color. Next year I may do multiple bags of different colors.
So I put the rice in a zip lock and tried this dye hoping it'd work as well as food coloring. It did the trick, but I didn't realize I got a bit of the dye on the outside of the bag. When Ashton shook the bag to get the color to go one evenly over the rice, it rained green on the walls, over our hands, and a green spot right under her left eye.
I was able to wash our hands fast enough. I rinsed of the baggie. I got a magic eraser to get the dye off the walls. But by the time we noticed the green dye under her eye, mere soap and water wasn't getting it off. So I used the magic eraser under her eye and it did the trick. I then rinsed her face to get any chemical residue off. I must have scrubbed too hard, as she got a little red mark under her eye.
It looks like she was meant to have either a green eye or red eye. At least she would have been sporting one of the Christmas colors. Oh, well. We put a little ice on it in case it was agitated. The things we go through to being creative.
It's a little hard to tell, but upside down (if you notice the eyes and mouth) is one of the beads in the ornament.
Ashton loved shaking it around and looking for the beads. I told her that this was like the census. They were counting everyone and finding everyone. And these two were the special ones, Mary and Joseph. She understood the counting and searching, just not the why really. But we came a long way than we did before. Not bad. And I think the ornament is a lot of fun.
I just hope she doesn't keep taking it off her tree and shaking it and drops it and breaks it. But we'll see. I think now that it's hanging up, she'll be okay. But you never know.